TD Timmy Dooley: captured

A FIANNA Fáil TD who unwittingly voted against the government in a vote to postpone a by-election also found himself an accidental spectator at a violent protest outside the Dáil.

Clare TD Timmy Dooley had been meeting a friend at a nearby hotel when he returned to Leinster House while scuffles broke out in front of the Dáil three weeks ago.

At least five protestors received minor head injuries as a result of the clashes and one garda also sustained an injury to his face.

Dooley found himself in the middle of the crowd where he was photographed by members of the protest group as he watched gardaí draw their batons on some marchers.

The Fianna Fáil TD explained: "I went out to Buswell's Hotel for a cup of tea to meet somebody and the gates were locked when I came back across the road.

"I certainly was not part of the protest and I watched what was going on as a casual observer. That's the explanation for that."

The protest had been advertised as peaceful but a small grouping decided they would try to storm the Dáil and gain access to the Leinster House complex.

Around 500 people took part in the march, organised by the Right to Work campaign. They walked from Parnell Street to Kildare Street.